Sunday Scriptures — Remember God’s Promises

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Near the end of Joshua’s life the brave warrior who led the Israelites into Canaan told the people to remember God’s promises. He reminded them not to forget what Jehovah had done for them. He told the Israelites to be grateful God was a Promise Keeper as they remembered promises God fulfilled.

I believe that is good advice for each of us, as well. Don’t you? Remember God’s promises, and as we remember, be grateful.

Often I’ve found we enjoy the blessings of fulfilled promises, but quickly forget them when another trial or trouble comes into our lives. It would appear we have selective memories.

The Women’s Devotional Guide to the Bible speaks to this, and suggests each of us take the time to recall and record what God has done in our life. The author suggests we look back over the long term, review where we were and where we are now, and how God got us there.

She suggests we remember events in our life where God fulfilled his promises to save us, to protect us, to give us hope, to be our strength, to bring healing and record those times that reflect God’s promise-keeping character.

In short, we are to remember God’s promises.

As we remember, we pray our thanks of gratitude to God for his goodness.

Might I suggest each of us take out our journals and, in my case, our favorite colored pen, and look over our life. For some of us, remembering events in our life where God fulfilled his promises may encompass many decades, for others, not as many.

Some of us might start by remembering the times we feel God showed up and showed out in miraculous ways. These times may be the first things we record. Others might take a linear approach and begin at the beginning.

This exercise is not intended to be a quick run-through. It is intended to be a thoughtful, worshipful exercise of gratitude to our God who keeps his promises. If you decide to join me in this, let me know your thoughts.

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It’s almost time for me to die. You know and fully believe that the Lord has done great things for you. You know that he has not failed to keep any of his promises. Joshua 23:14 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scripture – Waiting on God

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Waiting on God can be difficult. Wouldn’t you agree?

We wait on God to deliver our children at just the right moment. We wait on God to find the right job in his perfect timing. We wait on God to learn the latest test results. The waiting line is long …

I’m sure you could fill in your own “waiting on God” items on the list.

Waiting is not an area of strength for me. I don’t particularly care to wait. Maybe the fast pace of growing up where I did has something to do with that, but I doubt it is totally to blame.

When I moved from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. to Orlando, Florida there were marked differences, and not just in the weather. The pace seemed slower. It didn’t seem slower, it was slower. It took me a while to get used to people not being in a constant rush to get things done.

There were two places where I noticed this slower pace the most; church and the grocery store.

Growing up I remember my father made it a point we arrived at any appointment well ahead of time. That included church. It seemed most of our congregation adhered to that philosophy as well, and if you weren’t in your seats ready to go at least fifteen minutes before church was supposed to “start”, then you were late.

That was definitely not the way our church in Florida often operated. Nope. Not at all. I’d arrive fifteen minutes early, and be the only car in the parking lot. So, I’m sure you can imagine people were not in their seats ready to go when the service was supposed to begin. Drove me crazy.

I’m finding in life God often makes us wait. I believe that thought corresponds to the verse in Psalm 23 that says, “He makes me lie down … ”

While we wait on God, maybe we should reflect on who God is, what his purpose for the wait might be, and what he wants us to learn from it.

What do you think? Do you find it easy to wait, or not?

“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.” Psalm 62:1 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Share the Gospel of Who Jesus Is

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

At the time of Jesus’ birth the Pharisees; Jewish religious leaders of the day, had specific rules for staying “clean”. Never enter the home of a Gentile, never dine with sinners, perform no work on the Sabbath, wash your hands seven times before eating …

Well. I definitely would not have been clean according to the Pharisees’ rules. I’m a Gentile. Being a sinner myself, I’ve dined with sinners. I’ve had to work on Sundays. And although I always wash my hands before eating, I’m not obsessive about it.

It pleases me to know Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords, Christ, Messiah, Savior, Redeemer did not follow the Pharisees’ rules, either.

Jesus went out of his way to go into Gentile territory and involve himself in the lives of Gentiles and share the Gospel of who he is. He once praised a Roman centurion for having more faith than anyone in Israel. That included the religious leaders.

Jesus spent time talking with a Samaritan woman, even though the thought of the day was Jews did not associate with Samaritans. Not only was this person a Samaritan, she was a woman. The horror! (The Pharisees should have checked into Jesus’ genealogy for the number of women who were not Jews, yet their names are still recorded in the Bible.)

Before the Risen Christ returned to his Father in heaven, Jesus told his disciples to go into ALL the world and share the gospel to EVERYONE in Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. No one was to be rejected or eliminated from the Good News of salvation through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. No one.

Before the apostle Paul; that Pharisee of the Pharisees, saw the light – literally – he thanked God daily he was not a Gentile, slave, or woman. Yet, after his conversion, Paul became the disciple who shared the Gospel to the Gentile world. The man who once was grateful not to be a Gentile, slave or woman declared There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

We are all one in Christ. We are not separated into boxes or labels of people. We are simply people Christ died to save. Christ died for EVERYONE. It is by his grace we are saved through our faith in the power of his blood and resurrection.

Since someone was willing to share the Gospel with us at some point in our lives, shouldn’t we do the same, no matter who they are, what they look like, or where they live?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

In Christ, there is no difference between Jew and Greek, slave and free person, male and female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus.Galatians 3:28 (NCV)

Happy New Year, everybody! May 2017 be your best year, yet.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scripture — Is There Any Margin In Your Day?

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Is there any margin in your day? You know, time where if something unexpected came up it wouldn’t throw you into a tizzy?

From my observations of our society as a whole, I’d say most of us run full-throttle, barely taking a breath before jumping into the next thing on our to-do list. It seems if we aren’t doing something, we’re considered slackers. Either by ourselves, or others.

During the years I taught elementary aged children it was extremely rare for me not to eat my lunch at my desk or computer. Working while I ate. One of my assistant principals  routinely came in, told me to stop working, take a break, and enjoy my lunch in the teachers’ lounge.

What? Take a break? Not work through lunch? Are you kidding? That would only put me further behind in an already too-full day.

I had no margin.

But Jesus did.

He deliberately took time to go off by himself to talk with his Father. He set an example of putting the press of life to the side for a moment to reconnect with what was important. He set aside time to recharge so he could face the next item on his agenda.

Jesus built margin into his life so he could accomplish the things God wanted him to accomplish.

When we leave space in our day we no longer consider God’s unexpected divine appointments nuisances or a bother. We’ve built in time to respond to that conversation, email, or text we weren’t expecting to encounter without it overwhelming us.

So how do we create margin?

I’m still learning, but saying no, even when I want to say yes has been the biggest way I’ve found to keep myself from being overloaded.

We can expect the unexpected and add a little more time to our chores, tasks, errands. It never fails whenever I’m running late, I hit all the red lights, traffic snarls, or realize I need to fill the gas tank.

Another thing is to give myself permission not to check my inbox every time I receive a ping on my phone notifying me of a new email.

What ways have you found help build margin into your day?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. Luke 5:15-16 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Delayed Answers

Isaiah 40By Sandy Kirby Quandt

John 11 records the account of the death of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha.

The Bible tells us the two sisters sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick. Their expectation was that Jesus would come to Bethany right away and heal their brother. Why wouldn’t he? They knew Jesus had the power to heal. They knew Lazarus was Jesus’ friend. They had hosted Jesus and his disciples on many occasions. Surely, Jesus would fulfill their request.

But that isn’t what happened.

When Jesus received word about Lazarus’ condition, he stayed where he was for the next two days. It wasn’t until the third day Jesus told his disciples they were headed to see about Lazarus. Jesus knew Lazarus had died. He also knew this was another opportunity for people to believe in him.

By the time they arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been in his tomb for four days. Martha heard Jesus was on the outskirts of the village and went to meet him. She told Jesus she knew if he’d been there, her brother would not have died.

Mary said the same thing when she fell at Jesus’ feet outside the village…if only you’d been here, my brother would not have died.

At that point, the Bible tells us Jesus was deeply moved and wept.

Jesus went to the cave where Lazarus was buried and shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”

Out came the no-longer-dead-man, still bound in his grave cloth.

There’s a PS to this story.

Verse 45 says, “And so at last many of the Jewish leaders who were with Mary and saw it happen, finally believed on him.” (TLB)

Jesus delayed on purpose so God’s glory would be shown and others would believe in him.

Sometimes Jesus does the same with our requests, doesn’t he?

He delays. We know he can. No doubt. We pray he will, realizing he may not.

Struggling with delayed answers? Maybe those delayed answers are to show us God’s glory and sovereignty, and so others will believe on him.

Leave your comments below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

“Where have you put him?” he asked them.

They told him, “Lord, come and see.”  Then Jesus wept. John 11:32, 34-35 (NLT)

I wish you well,

Sandy

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